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A wildfire on the fringes of the Greek capital triggers evacuation alerts

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A wildfire on the fringes of the Greek capital triggers evacuation alerts
News

News

A wildfire on the fringes of the Greek capital triggers evacuation alerts

2024-06-19 23:47 Last Updated At:23:50

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft were trying to contain a large wildfire on the fringes of Athens that forced authorities to issue evacuation orders Wednesday for two nearby settlements.

Television footage showed flames coursing through low scrub and olive trees in a sparsely inhabited area near Vari, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of central Athens.

Fire service spokesman Vassilis Vathrakogiannis said the blaze spread very fast due to strong winds that at times reached gale force.

“Where necessary, residents are being removed from their homes with the help of the police,” he said.

No injuries were immediately reported. State ERT television showed destroyed plastic boats in a yacht and speedboat parking area, while Greek media reported that several businesses and two homes had been damaged.

The fire service said more than 70 firefighters, assisted by 13 water-dropping planes and helicopters, were working to control the blaze.

The surrounding area is dotted with hundreds of scattered buildings, both homes and businesses.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Dozens of wildfires have broken out in Greece in recent days amid scorching summer temperatures, but they were extinguished before causing extensive damage. Several people were arrested and charged with accidentally starting the blazes.

Vathrakogiannis, the fire service spokesman, said Wednesday was “a very difficult day” due to the weather conditions.

“In the past few hours we’ve been constantly getting new fires — almost one every ten minutes,” he said. “Most were dealt with immediately.”

The greater Athens area has been declared at a high risk of fire Wednesday and Thursday.

Wildfires are common in Greece's dry, hot summers, and have caused scores of deaths in recent years. Authorities have warned of a particularly high risk this summer following a dry, warm winter that has left vegetation tinder-dry.

Firefighters and aircraft were battling another major fire Wednesday in the southern Peloponnese region, with authorities ordering the evacuation of one village. Another wildfire was burning on the Aegean Sea island of Naxos.

Earlier. the fire service said it had brought under control another blaze near Markopoulo, east of Athens, and on the island of Evia.

A firefighter tries to extinguish a fire burning in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft were trying to contain a large wildfire on the fringes of Athens that forced authorities to issue evacuation orders Wednesday for two nearby settlements. (AP Photos/Petros Giannakouris)

A firefighter tries to extinguish a fire burning in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft were trying to contain a large wildfire on the fringes of Athens that forced authorities to issue evacuation orders Wednesday for two nearby settlements. (AP Photos/Petros Giannakouris)

Firefighters try to extinguish the fire burning in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft were trying to contain a large wildfire on the fringes of Athens that forced authorities to issue evacuation orders Wednesday for two nearby settlements. (AP Photos/Petros Giannakouris)

Firefighters try to extinguish the fire burning in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft were trying to contain a large wildfire on the fringes of Athens that forced authorities to issue evacuation orders Wednesday for two nearby settlements. (AP Photos/Petros Giannakouris)

Firefighters try to extinguish a yacht on fire in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft were trying to contain a large wildfire on the fringes of Athens that forced authorities to issue evacuation orders Wednesday for two nearby settlements. (AP Photos/Petros Giannakouris)

Firefighters try to extinguish a yacht on fire in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft were trying to contain a large wildfire on the fringes of Athens that forced authorities to issue evacuation orders Wednesday for two nearby settlements. (AP Photos/Petros Giannakouris)

Firefighters try to extinguish the fire as a firefighting helicopter drops water in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft were trying to contain a large wildfire on the fringes of Athens that forced authorities to issue evacuation orders Wednesday for two nearby settlements. (AP Photos/Petros Giannakouris)

Firefighters try to extinguish the fire as a firefighting helicopter drops water in Koropi suburb, eastern part of Athens, on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Scores of Greek firefighters and water-bombing aircraft were trying to contain a large wildfire on the fringes of Athens that forced authorities to issue evacuation orders Wednesday for two nearby settlements. (AP Photos/Petros Giannakouris)

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Nick Gonzales hits winning single in 9th, Pirates rally for 8-7 win over Phillies

2024-07-20 11:13 Last Updated At:11:21

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Nick Gonzales hit the winning RBI single in the ninth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied from a three-run deficit for an 8-7 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.

With the Pirates trailing 7-6, Connor Joe led off the ninth with a single before José Alvarado (1-4) walked Andrew McCutchen. Michael A. Taylor, running for Joe, and McCutchen executed a double steal. Oneil Cruz brought in the tying run on a one-out fielder’s choice.

Gonzales then sent a first-pitch cutter through the left side of the infield to defeat the Phillies, who have lost three of four in front of a sellout crowd of 39,530, the largest in the regular season at PNC Park since April 13, 2015.

“I don’t think so," Gonzales said when asked whether he'd played in a more memorable game. "Just the back and forth, especially against them, it’s pretty cool to do. It kind of shows that we can compete against the best.”

The Pirates have won five in a row to move over .500 at 49-48 for the first time since April 24.

Carmen Mlodzinski (2-3) allowed two singles in the ninth before retiring three in a row.

Weston Wilson, who had a career-best three hits, put the Phillies ahead 4-3 in the third inning with a home run to left, his first this season and second in the majors. He capped a three-run first inning with his first of two singles, grounding it off the chest of third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes to follow a two-run double from Nick Castellanos.

“(Wilson is) a baseball player,” Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said. “He can run. He can hit. ... He's a baseball player, so we're giving him a chance here. Hopefully, he grabs it.”

Cruz drove in the first of Pittsburgh’s three runs off Aaron Nola in the first, hitting a double with an exit velocity of 120.5 mph to center. He led off the third with another double before scoring on a sacrifice fly to tie it 4-all.

“He was outstanding," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “I think if anybody needed the four days, it was him, because I think you guys saw him in Chicago. He was beat up and he wasn’t moving at full speed. To be able to get him back to healthy I think is really important.”

Nola was tagged for four runs and six hits with four strikeouts in five innings.

“Early in the game, he looked a little bit rusty,” Thomson said. “Seven days off between starts. A lot of stressful pitches early.”

Trea Turner put the Phillies up for a third time with a two-run homer off Pirates starter Martín Pérez in the fourth inning. Edmundo Sosa scored on Kyle Schwarber’s sacrifice fly to make it 7-4 in the fifth.

Pérez lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks.

Cruz hit an RBI infield single in front of Rowdy Tellez’s third sacrifice fly of the night that cut the deficit to 7-6 in the seventh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: LHP Ranger Suárez threw Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, going out to 120 feet and throwing a flat-ground session before the game. He missed the All-Star Game with low back spasms. ... RHP Zack Wheeler (back tightness) also threw 120 feet on Friday but did not have a flat-ground session.

Pirates: LHP Bailey Falter threw a live bullpen on Thursday. He was placed on the 15-day injured list with left triceps tendinitis on July 7.

UP NEXT

RHP Luis Ortiz (4-2, 2.84 ERA) will take the mound for the Pirates on Saturday, opposite Phillies LHP Cristopher Sánchez (7-4, 2.96).

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Martín Pérez delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Martín Pérez delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales hits a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales hits a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper celebrates with teammates in the dugout after coming around to score in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper celebrates with teammates in the dugout after coming around to score in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Nick Castellanos celebrates after hitting a two-run RBI double in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Nick Castellanos celebrates after hitting a two-run RBI double in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Weston Wilson celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the third inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Weston Wilson celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the third inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Trea Turner (7) reacts as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off of Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Martin Perez in the fourth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Trea Turner (7) reacts as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off of Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Martin Perez in the fourth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Oneil Cruz hits an RBI double in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Oneil Cruz hits an RBI double in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen slides in safely to third base in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen slides in safely to third base in the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Garrett Stubbs reacts after being hit by a pitch in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Philadelphia Phillies' Garrett Stubbs reacts after being hit by a pitch in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, center, is is congratulated by teammates after hitting a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, center, is is congratulated by teammates after hitting a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, center, is mobbed by teammates after hitting a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, center, is mobbed by teammates after hitting a walkoff single off Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, right, reacts after hitting a walkoff single off of Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales, right, reacts after hitting a walkoff single off of Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher José Alvarado during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, July 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Justin Berl)

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